Bella the German shepherd, seen here with Parker Duin, is in New York City competing in the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show which runs Feb. 9 to Feb. 11. (Jody Duin)

Chilliwack dog in New York vying for top spot at 144th annual Westminster dog show

Bella is the only German shepherd from B.C. competing this weekend

A Chilliwack dog is in the Big Apple this weekend vying for top spot in one of the most prestigious dog shows in North America.

Bella, a German shepherd, and her handler Courtney Penner landed in New York City today (Saturday) ready to compete in the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

“Westminster is the Super Bowl of dog shows,” said Jody Duin, one of Bella’s owners. “In order to be able to go to Westminster, you have to be a champion.”

The year 2019 was a “banner” year for Bella.

“She far exceeded our highest expectations,” Duin said.

The young three-year-old dog had been shown countless times throughout 2018 and 2019 and during that time she won 18 best in show titles in B.C. and Alberta.

Each time she won best in show, Bella would receive points – the larger the entry of dogs in a competition, the greater the number of points a dog can earn. Bella garnered enough points and show wins to be given the title “Canadian grand champion” and “American champion,” pointing her in the direction of the 144th annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show this weekend.

Approximately 2,800 dogs from around the world will be competing this year. Bella is the only German shepherd from B.C.

She will start by competing Sunday morning in her breed along with 12 other German shepherds. If Bella wins, she will continue on to compete Monday in the herding group. If she’s successful there, she moves on to Tuesday night’s best in show competition.

It’s not an agility competition, but rather conformation where dogs are judged by how closely they are to the breed standard with evaluations on movement, structure and more.

Bella is owned by Duin, her daughter Parker, and Cortnie Partner of the U.S. She was bred by Woodside German Shepherds in Langley.

In New York, Bella is joined by Cortnie Partner, Courtney Penner, and the breeder. The Duins were unable to join Bella and will be tuning in from their home in Chilliwack throughout the weekend either by Westminster Kennel Club’s live streaming of the competition or via Facebook live video.

Despite all her success, Duin said Bella is as much a typical family pet as she is a show dog.

“For a dog that has done so much winning and is such a cool dog in terms of the show world, she’s also a regular dog,” Duin said. “She’s just like any other pet dog except she’s an athlete.”

Bella has a “village” of people who train her including her owners, breeder, handlers and fill-in or assistant handlers.

Duin’s seven-year-old daughter, Parker, showed an interest and ability to help train and condition Bella at an early age. The family has an active lifestyle and they enjoy biking and swimming with Bella to ensure she stays in prime condition.

“She’s wild and fun but also knows when to turn it on,” Duin said. “It’s very evident that she really does love [competing].”

So what’s next for this young German shepherd if she wins best in show at Westminster? Duin admits there’s not really anywhere else to go.

“In our sport, I think when a dog wins Westminster you probably retire on a high note,” she said.

RELATED: B.C. Newfie wins Best in Breed at Westminster Dog Show 2018

RELATED: Chilliwack teen off to Canadian dog handling championships in Newfoundland


 

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on?
Email: jenna.hauck@theprogress.com
Twitter: @PhotoJennalism

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Dogs

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Bella the German shepherd and handler Courtney Penner from Chilliwack are in New York City competing in the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show which runs Feb. 9 to Feb. 11. (Jody Duin)

Bella the German shepherd and handler Courtney Penner from Chilliwack are in New York City competing in the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show which runs Feb. 9 to Feb. 11. (Jody Duin)

Just Posted

Surrey to pay TransLink $30M in land, $9M in cash for work on cancelled LRT

Council considered staff report on city’s 2019 annual financial statements during Monday’s “virtual” council meeting

Surrey RCMP promise enforcement at unofficial show ‘n’ shines

Cars have been impounded at the site in the last two years

‘There’s no playbook for this’: South Surrey sports organizations await approval to return to play

Local associations planning for modified summer seasons as COVID-19 restrictions ease

Local Chinese Canadians aim to counter COVID-19 backlash

Few racist incidents on Peninsula, says Community Engagement Society

Surrey now has second urgent and primary care centre, in Newton, premier says

Premier John Horgan noted that some 90,000 people in Surrey don’t have a family doctor

B.C. retirement home creates innovative ‘meet-up’ unit for elderly to see family face-to-face

Innovative ‘purpose-built’ unit keeps residents safe when seeing family for first time since COVID-19

B.C.’s essential grocery, hardware store employees should get pandemic pay: retail group

Only B.C.’s social, health and corrections workers are eligible for top-ups

Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto vying to be NHL hubs, but there’s a catch

The NHL unveiled a return-to-play plan that would feature 24 teams

Help the ‘Cloverdale Reporter’ continue its mission to provide trusted local news

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

B.C. sees 9 new COVID-19 cases, one death as officials watch for new cases amid Phase Two

Number of confirmed active cases is at 244, with 37 people in hospital

Nanaimo senior clocked going 50 km/hr over limit says her SUV shouldn’t be impounded

RCMP say they can’t exercise discretion when it comes to excessive speeding tickets

United Way allocating $6.6M in federal funding to help with food security, youth mental health

Applications from Fraser Valley and Lower Mainland charities being accepted for the emergency funding

Illicit-drug deaths up in B.C. and remain highest in Canada: chief coroner

More than 4,700 people have died of overdoses since B.C. declared a public health emergency in early 2016

CMHC sees declines in home prices, sales, starts that will linger to end of 2022

CMHC said average housing prices could fall anywhere from nine to 18 per cent in its forecast

Most Read